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Older couples may benefit from a prenuptial agreement

Washington couples considering marriage may have a lot on their mind besides the stress and romance of wedding planning. Once the big day is done, and they are united in marriage, their finances will be tied together in a way that they weren't when they were single. This can be particularly significant for older couples who may have been married once before or who, over the course of time, acquired significant assets. For these couples, having a prenuptial agreement in place before they walk down the aisle can be essential.

For example, a prenup can signify which of a couple's assets are to remain separate even after they are married. This is important if a spouse enters the marriage with valuable assets such as retirement plans or real estate. For example, if a person has children from a previous relationship, he or she may want to maintain separate assets to pass on to these children as heirs once he or she passes away.

In addition, a prenup can address the issue of alimony should a couple divorce. This could be especially important if one spouse earns significantly more than the other. Or, should each party be able to adequately support him or herself, then they may want to make an agreement that they will not seek alimony if they divorce.

According to the Pew Research Center, as of 2013, in two-fifths of new marriages, at least one of the parties had been married in the past. This may be due to the fact that since the 1960's the divorce rate has risen. Moreover, increasing life spans mean that older people get divorced and more widows and widowers remarry. But no matter how they come into a second marriage, or even a first marriage for that matter, older couples may want to give serious thought to signing a prenup.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "Financial planners: Prenuptial agreements shouldn't be a deal breaker in remarriages," Tim Grant, July 29, 2016

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